Many couples get married thinking that arousal follows desire. However, this isn’t true for everyone. Responsive desire is a normal and common experience for many spouses. 

There are five major lies about responsive desire that you might believe. 

It’s time to clear things up so you can experience stronger sexual intimacy. 

Responsive Desire vs. Spontaneous Desire

First, what’s the difference between responsive and spontaneous desire?

Spontaneous desire is probably what you imagined would always happen when you were first married. This type of desire shows up a lot in movies and television. 

It’s a sudden spark of desire that quickly leads to arousal. In other words, something happens—such as a touch or a sexy thought—that turns you on and makes you want to have sex.

Responsive desire tends to develop more gradually. You might need to engage in foreplay before desire kicks in. 

So whereas spontaneous desire happens almost automatically, responsive desire requires more intentionality. 

5 Lies About Responsive Desire

As you can see, desire isn’t as straightforward as you might think. 

Believing common lies about desire can warp your perspective on sex. It can lead to frustration, resentment, guilt, and weakened sexual intimacy if you’re not careful. 

Here are some common lies you might have heard—and the truth about responsive desire in marriage. 

Lie #1: If you have to get “in the mood,” something’s wrong. 

Many people perceive spontaneous desire as “normal” because that’s what they see in the media. But author and researcher Emily Nagoski found that only 15% of women and 75% of men experience spontaneous desire

Responsive desire does not mean something is wrong with you. It’s simply how your brain and body work. That’s why foreplay is a key aspect of sexual intimacy. 

Many spouses need time to get in the mood—both physically and mentally. Foreplay can help activate that desire. 

Lie #2: If you have responsive desire, you don’t enjoy sex. 

Among the ONE Family, 90% of you say you’ve had sex when you weren’t feeling it and had a great encounter with your spouse.

Just because it might take you more time to become aroused doesn’t mean sex is not pleasurable or enjoyable. Not everyone experiences desire before they get aroused.

Lie #3: All men have spontaneous desire. 

You might assume that all men have spontaneous desire and all women have responsive desire. It’s simply not true. 

A quarter of men experience responsive desire. In other words, you may need to engage in sexual acts before you get an erection. 

Desire is not gender specific. That’s why it’s essential to have these conversations with your spouse. Your desire is specific to you

Lie #4: Having mismatched desires is bad for your marriage. 

Likely, you and your spouse have different levels of desire. The truth is that you can have strong and passionate sexual intimacy even with different sexual desires.

That said, it’s vital to communicate about your mismatched desires. Otherwise, one spouse may feel rejected, unloved, or unwanted. Make sure to address any issues quickly to avoid cracks in your emotional or sexual intimacy. 

Lie #5: You’ll be stuck with responsive desire forever. 

Your sexual desire will fluctuate throughout your marriage. Factors like health, stress, and aging affect your desire. However, you also have control over many of these aspects. 

Whatever your current level of desire is, it can change. Again, talk about this with your spouse. It may also be helpful to speak with a marriage coach or healthcare provider to explore your options. 

Scheduling Sex for Responsive Desire

Spontaneous desire doesn’t happen for everyone. So why would you only rely on spontaneous sex? 

Scheduling sex can be a revolutionary approach when one or both of you have responsive desire. 

With the Intimacy Lifestyle Planner, you can make your own plan to put sex on the calendar. This planner helps you define what intimacy, and specifically physical and sexual intimacy, is going to look like in your marriage.

Within this 3-page planner, you’ll have the framework to set up your very own Intimacy Lifestyle that will benefit you and your spouse. Download yours today to get started.

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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